The Exeter Prize

The prize is awarded annually to the best paper in the fields of Experimental Economics, Decision Theory and Behavioural Economics.

Tomasz Strzalecki, 2014 winner of the Exeter Prize

Daniel Friedman, 2013 winner of the Exeter Prize

Michel Regenwetter, 2012 winner of the Exeter Prize

Exeter Prize

Exeter Prize for Research in Experimental Economics, Decision Theory and Behavioral Economics

The Exeter Prize is awarded to the best paper published in the previous calendar year in a peer-reviewed journal in the fields of Experimental Economics, Decision Theory and Behavioural Economics. Papers qualify under one of the following categories:

  1. Any paper that involves either lab or field experiments.
  2. Any purely theoretical paper that involves "behavioral" theory (for example, non-expected utility).
  3. Any empirical work that shows evidence for behavioral models (that fit under 2) or tests/rejects models (that fit under 2).

Exeter Prize 2016

The winners of the Exeter Prize 2015 for Research in Experimental Economics, Decision Theory and Behavioral Economics are David V. Budescu (Fordham University) and Eva Chen (University of Pennsylvania) for their paper “Identifying Expertise to Extract the Wisdom of the Crowds”, Management Science, 61(2), 2015, 267-280.

How can one more accurately predict a future event, by asking many people or by seeking the advice of a few experts? This paper examines a middle ground between reliance on quantity (a crowd) and quality (experts). Since Condorcet’s work on the mathematical theory of voting in the 18th century, scholars have considered the idea that, collectively, we can cancel out individual biases and make better decisions under certain conditions and ways of aggregating individual opinions.

What is now known as the “wisdom of the crowds” refers to the ability of a large group to outperform individuals in tasks such as predicting a future event.  At the same time, the natural appeal of expert judges lies in their specialized skill sets and their superior knowledge of a given domain. This paper develops a method for incorporating the wisdom of the crowds with expertise by identifying experts in a crowd and measuring their contribution to the crowd’s overall performance.

The proposed method, based on the simple idea of attributing higher weight to well performing experts, is tested in a large scale empirical study and exhibits a good performance. This paper will likely stimulate further research to improve the method. For example, possible refinements may take into account the incentives and strategic considerations of experts to report their beliefs truthfully.

The winning paper was selected by the panel of Glenn Harrison (Georgia State University), Michel Regenwetter (University of Illinois), and Shmuel Zamir (Hebrew University and the University of Exeter).

Other 2016 finalists

  • Apesteguia, Jose, and Miguel A. Ballester. "A measure of rationality and welfare.Journal of Political Economy 123, no. 6 (2015): 1278-1310.
  • Krajbich, Ian, Björn Bartling, Todd Hare, and Ernst Fehr. "Rethinking fast and slow based on a critique of reaction-time reverse inference.Nature Communications 6 (2015).
  • Plonsky, Ori, Kinneret Teodorescu, and Ido Erev. "Reliance on small samples, the wavy recency effect, and similarity-based learning.Psychological Review 122, no. 4 (2015): 621.
  • Powdthavee, Nattavudh, and Yohanes E. Riyanto. "Would you pay for transparently useless advice? A test of boundaries of beliefs in the folly of predictions.Review of Economics and Statistics 97, no. 2 (2015): 257-272.

Previous prize winners

The winners of the Exeter Prize 2015 for Research in Experimental Economics, Decision Theory and Behavioral Economics are Gary Charness (UCSB) , Francesco Feri (Royal Holloway), Miguel Melendez (Malaga), and Matthias Sutter (Cologne and Innsbruck) for their paper "Experimental games on networks: underpinnings of behavior and equilibrium selection" published in Econometrica in 2014.

This paper provides a balanced portfolio of theory, experimental design, and the pursuit of alternative explanations for behavioral puzzles. Considering designs that span a wide range of interesting networks, they find that theory predicts behavior tightly when there is a unique equilibrium. And when there are multiple equilibria, traditional characteristics describing the network play an important role in describing behavior. Their study establishes a careful, informed behavioral base from which further research into network behavior will proceed.

The winning paper was selected by the panel of Glenn Harrison (Georgia State University), David Budescu (Fordham University), and Shmuel Zamir (Hebrew University and the University of Exeter). Francesco and Miguel visited the University of Exeter in November 2014, presented their current research on the topic and received the award.

Other 2015 finalists

  • Bursztyn, Leonardo, Florian Ederer, Bruno Ferman, and Noam Yuchtman. "Understanding mechanisms underlying peer effects: Evidence from a field experiment on financial decisions" published in Econometrica.
  • Coffman, Katherine Baldiga. "Evidence on Self-Stereotyping and the Contribution of Ideas" published in The Quarterly Journal of Economics.
  • Gul, Faruk, and Wolfgang Pesendorfer. "Expected uncertain utility theory", published in Econometrica.

The winner of the Exeter Prize 2014 for Research in Experimental Economics, Decision Theory and Behavioral Economics is Tomasz Strzalecki (Harvard University) for his paper "Temporal Resolution of Uncertainty and Recursive Models of Ambiguity Aversion" published in Econometrica in 2013.

Other 2014 finalists

  • Barseghyan, L., Molinari, F., O'Donoghue, T. and Teitelbaum, J. 2013. "The Nature of Risk Preferences: Evidence from Insurance Choices." American Economic Review 103(6), 2499-2529.
  • Gurdal, M.Y., Miller, J.B., and Rustichini, A. 2013. "Why Blame?" Journal of Political Economy 121 (6), 1204-1247.
  • Sah, S., Lowenstein, G., and Cain, D. 2013. "The Burden of Disclosure: Increased Compliance With Distrusted Advice." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 104(2), 289-304.
  • Sonnemann, U., Camerer, C.F., Fox, C.R., and Langer, T. 2013. "How Psychological Framing Affects Economic Market Prices in the Lab and Field." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110 (29), 11779-11784.

The winners of the Exeter Prize 2013 for Research in Experimental Economics, Decision Theory and Behavioral Economics are Daniel Friedman, (UC Santa Cruz) and Ryan Oprea (UC Santa Barbara) for their paper "A Continuous Dilemma" by published in American Economic Review in 2012.

Other 2013 finalists

  • Shifting the Blame: On Delegation and Responsibility”, by Bjorn Bartling and Urs Fischbacher in the Review of Economic Studies
  • The Behavioralist Visits the Factory: Increasing Productivity Using Simple Framing Manipulations”, by Tanjim Hossain and John List in Management Science.
  • Social Sampling Explains Apparent Biases in Judgments of Social Environments”, Mirta Galesic, Henrik Ollsson & Jorg Rieskamp in Psychological Science
  • Revealed Attention”, by Yusufcan Masatliogu, Daisuke Nakajima and Erkut Ozbay in the American Economic Review
  • Eliciting Welfare Preferences from Behavioral Datasets”, by Ariel Rubinstein and Yuval Salant in the Review of Economic Studies

The winner of the inaugural Exeter Prize 2012 for Research in Experimental Economics, Decision Theory and Behavioral Economics is "Transitivity of Preferences" by Michel Regenwetter, Jason Dana and Clintin P. Davis-Stober, published in Psychological Review in 2011.

Other 2012 finalists

  • Performance Pay and Multidimensional Sorting: Productivity, Preferences and Gender” by Thomas Dohmen and Armin Falk published in American Economic Review.
  • Is Tiger Woods Loss Averse? Persistent Bias in the Face of Experience, Competition, and High Stakes” by Devin Pope and Maurice Schweitzer published in the American Economic Review.
  • Judicial In-Group Bias in the Shadow of Terrorism” by Moses Shayo and Asaf Zussman published in the Quarterly Journal of Economics.
  • Axiomatic Foundations of Multiplier Preferences” by Tomasz Strzalecki published in Econometrica.